Articles | Volume 16, issue 9
Research article
02 Sep 2022
Research article |  | 02 Sep 2022

Persistent, extensive channelized drainage modeled beneath Thwaites Glacier, West Antarctica

Alexander O. Hager, Matthew J. Hoffman, Stephen F. Price, and Dustin M. Schroeder


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Short summary
The presence of water beneath glaciers is a control on glacier speed and ocean-caused melting, yet it has been unclear whether sizable volumes of water can exist beneath Antarctic glaciers or how this water may flow along the glacier bed. We use computer simulations, supported by observations, to show that enough water exists at the base of Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica, to form "rivers" beneath the glacier. These rivers likely moderate glacier speed and may influence its rate of retreat.